The Femi Gbajabaimila led Federal House of representatives and stake holders in the power sector has at Thursday 16th April 2020, agreed to set up a joint implementation committee on the proposal for two months free electric power supply across the nation. This power supply will be to the poor and vulnerable Nigerians and it’s all in the bid to alleviate the sufferings of people during this period of ‘sit at home.’
The objective of the implementation is to help make people comfortable as they stay at home and to help the poorest of the poor. The committee is to look into the challenges within the supply chain of electricity in the country and come up with ways to deal with them, within the shortest possible time. He believes that this move will be moist benefited by the Nigerian people as the scheme hopes to ensure that power supply will be at least 70% efficient.
The speaker was disappointed that there is no fund set aside to assist the consumer of electric power even if the law mandates it in section 83 of the electricity power act, such fund should not be optional as it is clearly provided for by an Act of parliament; not implementing it equates to breaking of the law. He believes that if such funds where set up and made available in the past, the fund to assist the proposal would have been readily available. He suggested that the Government should look into the matter and take steps to set up the fund as no one knows when next such will be needed.
In his remarks, The Minister of Power Engr. Sale Maman affirmed that the Executive arm of government is ready and willing to contribute their part towards implementing this proposal. He said they are will be providing support and technical advice towards the realization of the objective.
Mele Kyari, the NNPC Group GMD, said that it is critical for the Gencos to get steady gas supply, as such the cost issue on that should be settled and agreed upon. he also said that since the industrial sector is not currently factored into the free electricity palliative, there should be a consideration for them after the crisis is over. He also said 100% power supply is impossible due to shortage in power generation as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. He said as soon as the issue of debt is addressed.
Discos (Electricity Distribution Companies) assured that they can deliver the mandate. What is remaining is for the details to be worked on and agreed.